Pictured is the inaugural Disability Pride Parade in New York. (Credit: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images )
Under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, CRS is authorized to help communities address and prevent hate crimes based on both cognitive and physical disabilities. CRS works with law enforcement, local and state officials, community groups, civil rights organizations, and educational institutions to create sustained methods for preventing and resolving community conflict based on disability. CRS assists communities experiencing conflict or tension related to this jurisdictional area by:
- Facilitating trainings with police and other law enforcement agencies to share best practices on interacting with community members with cognitive and physical disabilities to prevent misunderstandings and ensure respectful interactions between officers and disabled community members;
- Assisting advocacy groups, community members, elected officials, and law enforcement in discussing the needs of disabled individuals and how all stakeholders can work together to improve relations and promote diversity and inclusion; and
- Providing trainings and facilitating dialogues with administrators, staff, teachers, and students at schools and universities to increase understanding of individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities and to address bullying issues.
The following examples demonstrate how CRS can help communities experiencing conflict based on disability. Additional case summaries can be found in CRS's Annual Reports, which are located on the CRS Resource Center webpage.